15 Jan New year, New website
With ten seasons under our belt at Blooming Glen Farm, we felt it was time to brush off the cobwebs and spruce up our website. We loved our old site- it was a beautiful design from our friend in California, it aged well, and got us this far, but a lot has changed in the past 10 years, and we felt it was time for the website to reflect that growth. Sheesh, there was a time when we sent out the newsletter at night using dial-up internet! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When we arrived on this land 10 years ago with a year old baby, there was little to no infrastructure. The photo below was taken in January 2006, as we were breaking ground on the construction of the heated greenhouses which now stand adjacent to the Discovery Garden.
We started out with a 100 member CSA, on just a couple of acres. Over the past 10 years we’ve gone from 5 to 40 acres under cultivation, adding in seven hoophouses, one massive deer fence, and an extensive irrigation system. Our equipment and our staffing and our lessons learned have grown exponentially. We’ve increased the numbers of pounds of crops we are harvesting, and by default the numbers of folks we are feeding. But one of the most important numbers we have increased is harder to see and harder to measure- our soil organic matter, and in turn our soil microorganisms, the unsung heroes of organic agriculture- the bacteria and fungi, the nematodes and earthworms.
Our new website will hopefully carry us into the next 10 years, whatever that may bring. These days websites are expected to be informative, but concise, while also appealing visually. We added a short video which expresses the flavor (we hope) of the CSA. We have a few more video ideas in the works for this season, so stay tuned for future collaborations with our website designer, and photographer/videographer, Dave Barbaree. With our new website we were able to integrate the blog into the site, the site works equally well on smartphones and tablets, and most importantly we are able to change and update content ourselves. If you wish to receive an email whenever we post a new blog, you can subscribe (see the sidebar on the right). Unfortunately, if you were a subscriber previously you’ll need to subscribe again, as we lost you in the conversion.
Also new this season is our registration system through Small Farm Central. Click on any of the registration links sprinkled throughout our website and, if you haven’t already, easily sign up for a season of farm fresh produce! We are able to accept credit card payments through Paypal. The new registration system is visually intuitive, with lots of features we will introduce as the season continues, and most importantly Small Farm Central provides us with stellar customer service, so we in turn can do the same for you. Available for the 24 week 2016 CSA season are full and half shares for on-farm pick-up, as well as medium and large boxes for delivery to Yardley and Doylestown.
Gazing out of the office window at the frozen landscape, we are busy gearing up for the new season. We are entering the last of our records from the 2015 season, taking stock of our seed and supply inventories, perusing seed catalogs and discussing variety changes. We are always tinkering, looking for crop varieties with the right combination of factors that will make it a winner here at Blooming Glen Farm- will it grow well in our heavy clay soil, in our variable and finicky climate, is it productive and does it fit with our organic management practices? Do we want to grow it? Does our community want to eat it?
Though we won’t start seeding until mid February, there is still plenty of work to keep us busy- we are updating our job openings, managing registrations, and above all, dreaming of a season that unfolds exactly as planned (though experience tells us that’s about as likely to happen as winning the power ball).